1. #1
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    Post Deerfield Fla..Firefighter re-instated in favoritism suit

    Judge orders Deerfield to reinstate firefighter once labeled 'employee terrorist'

    By Susannah Bryan
    Staff Writer
    Posted March 25 2005

    DEERFIELD BEACH A federal judge ruled this week that the city violated the rights of a firefighter who was kept off the job since 2001 and labeled an "employee terrorist" by a city-appointed psychiatrist.

    Joe Langlois has been in employment limbo more than three years, but U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke of Miami federal court ordered city officials to allow him to return to work immediately.

    "I feel good, because at least my name is going to be cleared," said Langlois, a 14-year veteran who made $72,000 as a rescue supervisor.

    Langlois, 44, is entitled to more than three years in back pay, an estimated $300,000, and possibly double damages if the city cannot show it acted in good faith, according to his attorney, William H. Pincus. The city must also pay an estimated $300,000 in attorney's fees, Pincus said.

    Pincus plans to file a motion today seeking a hearing date to determine damages. The lawsuit could end up costing the city almost $1 million.

    On Thursday, Pincus described the city's treatment of Langlois as "almost un-American."

    For more than three years, city officials refused to let Langlois return to work, but would not fire him because they said they did not have cause.

    Langlois said his troubles began in late 2001 when he complained about favoritism within the Deerfield Beach Fire Department, and a resulting rift developed between him and a lieutenant.

    Soon after, Fire Chief Gary Lother had Langlois submit to a drug test, which he passed, and later a psychiatric examination.

    Langlois was placed on forced administrative leave in November 2001 with no statement as to why. Two months later, he was found unfit for duty by a city-appointed geriatric psychiatrist, who claimed his behavior was consistent with "employee terrorism." Langlois was then put on forced sick leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

    Langlois, seeking to return to work, sought opinions from a psychologist and psychiatrist. Both found him fit for duty.

    But the city still refused to let him return to work, Judge Cooke wrote in her 23-page decision released Wednesday. "Given that Langlois has received medical certification from his health-care provider stating that he is fit for duty, the city must reinstate him," Cooke wrote.

    Lother and James Cherof, labor attorney for the city, did not return calls seeking comment.

    City Manager Larry Deetjen said the city would decide whether to appeal next week. He was not sure how much the city has spent defending itself in the case.

    Word of Langlois' victory was spreading quickly, Fire-Rescue Lt. Bob Keefer said.

    "They ruined this guy's life for nothing, and now he's vindicated," Keefer said. "He's one of the best employees we've ever had. He's a workhorse."

    On Thursday, Langlois fielded calls from fellow firefighters congratulating him.

    "I'm looking forward to going back to work," Langlois said. "I've always loved being a firefighter and paramedic. I like helping people."

    Susannah Bryan can be reached at sbryan@sun-sentinel.com or 954-572-2028.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  2. #2
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    Default Good...

    Good story...Glad to see one swing the right way
    for the little guy.

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    What the hell is an "Employee Terrorist" and why was he evaluated by a geriatric psychologist????
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by nmfire
    What the hell is an "Employee Terrorist" and why was he evaluated by a geriatric psychologist????
    I was wondering the same things?!?!?
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Originally posted by nmfire
    What the hell is an "Employee Terrorist" and why was he evaluated by a geriatric psychologist????
    Because there are those in the medical profession who moonlight as "professional prostitutes!"

    Brother Langlois' next step should be a defamation of character suit agaisnt the shrink and to seek censure of his license to practice!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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    Default

    A Geriatric care provider is someone who provides care to the elderly.
    A Generic care provider takes care of all ages.

    This kinda tickled my funny bone...if this pychiatrist is geriatric shouldn't he be retired? HAHAHAHAHA.

    I do believe what was meant was generic psychiatrist meaning one who works as a psychiatrist without a field of specialization (EG: Schizophrenia or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

    As for an Employee Terrorist? I would think it would be along the lines of a sabotagist employed by the company with or without permission to sabotage. What do you guys think?
    IACOJ
    If you are willing to teach;
    I am willing to learn.

  7. #7
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    Default City Appeals

    Deerfield will appeal order to put firefighter back on job

    By Susannah Bryan
    Staff Writer
    Posted March 31 2005

    DEERFIELD BEACH City commissioners decided this week to appeal a federal ruling ordering the city to allow veteran firefighter Joe Langlois to return to work.

    The decision means the legal battle is not yet over for Langlois, a 14-year firefighter who has spent three years in employment limbo after being dubbed an "employee terrorist" by a city-appointed psychiatrist.


    City officials have refused to let Langlois work since late 2001, based on a claim he is not fit for duty.

    On March 23, Miami-based U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled in favor of Langlois, saying his rights had been violated and ordering his immediate return to work.

    William H. Pincus, Langlois' attorney, said the city is required to allow Langlois to return to work while it appeals to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. "We think the city is continuing to break the law," said Pincus, who plans to file an emergency motion with Cooke seeking Langlois' return to his job as a rescue supervisor.

    James Cherof, labor attorney for the city, declined to comment Wednesday.

    "I'm disappointed," Langlois said on Wednesday. "Cherof told me in the beginning that the city has deep pockets and unlimited amounts of time. The city is playing with the taxpayers' money."

    Langlois, 44, is entitled to more than three years in back pay and an estimated $300,000 in attorney's fees, Pincus said. He earned a salary of $72,000.

    Langlois said his troubles began in late 2001 when he complained about favoritism within the Fire Department. Soon afterward, Fire Chief Gary Lother had Langlois submit to a psychiatric examination.

    Langlois was placed on forced administrative leave in November 2001 with no statement as to the reason. Two months later, he was found unfit for duty by a city-appointed psychiatrist. Langlois was then put on forced sick leave under the Family Medical Leave Act.

    Over the past few years, Langlois has continued to work as an emergency room nurse.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
    ------------------------------
    IACOJ Minister of Southern Comfort
    "Purple Hydrant" Recipient (3 Times)
    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

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    City commissioners decided this week to appeal a federal ruling ordering the city to allow veteran firefighter Joe Langlois to return to work.

    On March 23, Miami-based U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled in favor of Langlois, saying his rights had been violated and ordering his immediate return to work.

    William H. Pincus, Langlois' attorney, said the city is required to allow Langlois to return to work while it appeals to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta. "We think the city is continuing to break the law," said Pincus, who plans to file an emergency motion with Cooke seeking Langlois' return to his job as a rescue supervisor.



    James Cherof, labor attorney for the city....
    the city has deep pockets and unlimited amounts of time.
    Joe Langlois....
    "The city is playing with the taxpayers' money."

    If I were a taxpayer in Deerfield Beach, I would be screaming holy hell right now. The present ward is over half a million with attporney's fees and wages for three years... wait until the the taxpayers hear what it will cost them with additional interest and damages!
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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